Milking ND... ups and downs - Help

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by milk and honey, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. milk and honey

    milk and honey Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Everett, WA
    Well, today went better.. although I had to pick Feta up and force her into the stanchion today.. she was calmer than yesterday and even nibbled a little food... but it's discouraging how much milk I'm able to get... less than a quarter cup... also I wasn't able to get one drop from her left side... the baby obviously has a favorite which has been bigger of the two.. and I've tried to milk both sides.. but like I said - nothing. I tried massaging that side for a few minutes, but the teat didn't fill at all! What do I do now?

    So, I poured that little bitty amount into the baggie in the freezer and wanted to cry.... what have I gotten myself into??????? At this rate it will take a year to make either cheese OR soap.... Gahhhhhhh!
  2. Bellafire Farm

    Bellafire Farm New Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    NW Oregon
    Not sure how old the kids are... but are you pulling them off at night (of before milking)?

    The more you milk/they drink, the more she'll produce. I'd keep the babies on her but pull them for atleast a few hours, maybe the whole night, before you milk, then turn her back out w/babies after milking. That way after you get your milking done, the babies will go to her for nursing which will tell her body to make more milk... just keep a close eye on everyone to make sure her milk increases & babies are still getting enough.

    ...hopefully that makes sense? Not sure if I explained it correctly??

  3. wookiee

    wookiee New Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    I completely understand! Don't get discouraged! With her kids on her, she won't have much extra milk or want to drop it for you. If you separate the kids at night for 8-10 hours, you will start to see real milk!

    My FF had little milk when I started training them with the kids still on. But after 1 night, one is giving me nearly 1 full quart every morning. I don't take that much because she is still raising her kids during the day.

    Also, does Feta come from strong milking lines? If so, the potential is there and she will only improve with consistent milking and maturing!

    My senior Nigerians give me 2+ qts a day and that's PLENTY of milk for cheese, soap, drinking, etc. I can't believe how much capacity a 2' tall goat possesses AND they are much higher in butterfat than the standards who produce more volume.

    Don't give up! Better days are ahead!
  4. milk and honey

    milk and honey Senior Member

    Oct 30, 2010
    Everett, WA
    Yea, I've been separating at night.. last night was the 3rd night .. I've separated for about 10 hours! Feta only has one little buckling (the doe was stillborn) Is there something I can do to get him to
    use the other side more?
    Feta comes from good milking lines... at least the names are good: Poppy Patch, Twin Creeks, Sugar Pine... and the farm I got her from Breeds for dairy character and shows...
    I guess it just comes down to being patient and consistent.... and working on technique... I end up spraying my own wrist and sleeve alot.. ha ha
    Thanks for the encouragement
  5. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    She's not letting down...try having her kid near when you start to milk, mama thinks you are stealing from her baby.
  6. milkmaid

    milkmaid I'm not addicted - I'm in love!

    The first goat I ever milked was a year-old FF and my, did she ever KICK! I was in tears of frustration more than once, and a lot of milk was wasted before we learned. She was every bit as frustrated as I was! It is a rough road, but you WILL conquer. :hug:
    For me, feeding on the stand didn't work too well. The goat would finish before I did and then get antsy. So now I feed them after milking.
    One thing that helped my FF this year was "going through the motions" of milking well before she kidded. After kidding she adapted quickly to being milked, and no milk was wasted. Just a thought for your next FF.
  7. Sans Gene Goats

    Sans Gene Goats New Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    SW Washington
    It's been a little bit since you posted, so I hope things have continued to improve! But I wanted to tell you it was just this last fall when I was going through the same woe and misery! My little Nigie, Jasmine, was also a first freshener. I had milked before, but it was 30 some years ago on a umpteenth freshened, super gentle Nubian LOL! So might as well have been never.

    Poor Jasmine! She tried, but would get so frustrated with my fumbling. And, she's the kind of doe that doesn't care what you are doing as long as there is GRAIN IN MY BOWL, RIGHT NOW. As soon as she ran out, the rodeo began. And me, slow as Molasses in January, was never done. But, we kept at it, and by the third month, we had it down - though I still tied down both of her hind legs as a precaution! You'd think she'd hate that but she got to where she'd have each foot ready for the tether. No more kicking, no more throwing out or knocked over milk, and the blue-cuss-cloud came by the milk stand a lot less often.

    Definitely pull the kids, and as much as you can, be consistent. This helps her know what to expect. Jasmine really enjoyed having her udder washed (I use Fias Co Farms recipe) and massaged. So, as I was milking and the milk seemed to slow down, I'd stop and massage her. Gradually I didn't need to massage except when I washed and right at the end to get the last of her milk, and we were able wash milk wash and dip in 10 -15 minutes :cool: (Maybe on 2nd freshening we'll get up to what I know some of you speedy 5 minute milkers are doing!)

    Oh, and feeding on the feedstand - I feed alfalfa pellets, so I'd give her the pellets while we were milking, and then her grain when I was done. That helped tons with the I'm-done-eating-we're-done-milking attitude.

    The other thing I found is that it took me awhile to figure out what, er, "milking stance" worked best. I tried milking from the side, then from behind, then from from the side. I definitely do much better milking from behind - Jasmine agreed! So, once you get that figured out, you'll be smoother and easier on her teats and she'll learn to relax with you.

    Wishing you well on the milkstand!

  8. Coyote Night Acres

    Coyote Night Acres New Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    I suggest to massage tea tree oil onto the udder to break up any congestion. My FF raising a kid had quite a bit of congestion in her udder and the tea tree helped a lot you just want to do it when the kids going to be off of mom. So you could do it in the evening when you pull the kid. You may want to just get another milk goat that will produce for you and can the idea of milking this girl till her next freshening. It would not be worth it for only 1/4 cup to me. If that's all your getting with the kid pulled at night I would worry your girls not going to be an abundant milker after later freshenings either.

    I know you like the ND, but perhaps you'de be better off with a standard or even a mini Saanen or mini Lamancha since you like the little ones.